In commercial real estate brokerage, far too many real estate agents offer generic marketing solutions across every listing without any specific recommendations. That situation should only be the case when it comes to ‘open listings’. Are you a ‘generic agent’ or a ‘top agent’?
Top agents in the property market today demand listing circumstances where they know that they can get a result and at the same time control the listing stock; both issues come together as key components of the property listing. If this is attractive and logical to you then have a serious look at your listing types and conversions over the last 12 months; you will see factors and results that are worth analysis. Top agents convert mainly exclusive listings and will walk away from open listings. That is a good rule to work to, but it does require confidence and commitment.
If a client will only give you an ‘open listing’ then you have a choice; I will go so far as to say that if you decide to take on that open listing, you should only provide a ‘generic marketing’ solution as that open listing will waste your time. Only an exclusive listing for a reasonable period of time (usually 4 to 6 months) should create a specific marketing approach by an agent and as a consequence lots of individual effort.
So let’s set some rules here. Here are the facts:
- If you are a top agent then your services are not free. Discounts in marketing and commissions are not an option.
- Your database of buyers and tenants is worth money. Sell your listing services around the depth and relevance of your database. Short list a number of people to show at any property listing pitch.
- A top agent will convert a sale or lease earlier in most cases, because they have their eyes and ears on the right people locally. Watch the time on market and your conversions. Can you claim that you are achieving better results than the other local agents?
- If the client is quite serious about getting property results then they will listen to any agent that really knows how to provide a specific property solution. Your local recommendations should apply in every sales pitch.
- Always ask for vendor paid marketing funds. If the client refuses to comply then you have a choice as to whether you should take on the listing.
Let’s face it, any ‘real estate robot’ can place a few adverts on the internet and in the newspapers to get enquiries and inspections. Exclusive listings demand better than the ‘robot approach’; given that you have taken the time to win the listing and the client, exclusivity is an essential process.
It should be said that the placement of advertisements both online and offline should be ‘vendor paid’. Yes, I know that some agents will take on a new listing and place it on the internet without any ‘vendor paid funds’, but the fact of the matter is that if the client is serious about selling or leasing, then time is of the essence.
A listing gets stale very quickly; the ‘open listing’ and ‘generic marketing’ approach is wasting the client’s time and also that of the agent. It is better to have a small number of high quality exclusive listings, rather than a large number of open listings that you cannot control.